starring Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Don 'D.C.' Curry
screenplay by Ice Cube
directed by Marcus Raboy
by Walter Chaw Because there is no plot save the scrambling for rent money that has been stolen from the Abbot and Costello-ian pairing of Ice Cube and Michael Epps, the closest one might come to a description of Friday After Next's narrative would involve the running gag of a Santa Claus bandit who breaks into homes to steal presents and beat people with Christmas trees (maybe inspired by Eddie Murphy's Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood Christmas sketch). Rather than take the easy road and talk about how much Friday After Next hates women and homosexuals, it's perhaps more fruitful to play along and regard the film, the long-awaited conclusion (?) to Ice Cube's Friday trilogy, as an accurate reflection of the sensibilities of the African-American culture in regards to women and homosexuals.
I was interested to learn that, according to the film, African-American men think of all women, even the "nice" ones, as either "ho"s or Seventies-"Good Times" representations of jealous mothers and lecherous seniors. They think that homosexuals can be made through years of prison rape and that once free, these men are likely to rape smaller men who are, of course, pimps. Judging by a party scene in the middle of the film, African-American men (and what are the protagonists of Friday After Next but representations of a desired audience) are fond of slapping scantily-clad women they've just met (and have been brought to the party by a pimp) on the posterior and that said women enjoy said slapping. The main love interest, meanwhile, presented as she of the greatest virtue (or at least as much virtue as one can muster in a skin-tight leather half-shirt), is embroiled in a "Master and Marguerita" relationship that would make Secretary blush.
Such are the sources of comedy for Friday After Next with no regard for character complexity, situational cleverness, or agility in dialogue. Pratfalls, mad chases, and profanity rule the day, each and all executed by the kind of unkind blue racial caricatures that would incite a storm of controversy were it perpetrated by any other than the offended race. Friday After Next is the kind of film that could only be made by African-Americans because of its broad racial insensitivity towards African-Americans--a picture without the light-heartedness of House Party or the sneaky racial commentary of How High and Barbershop. Richard Pryor used to do comedy that observed race and racial difference in ways that were educational, sensitive, and hilarious; Richard Pryor is to Friday After Next as apples are to horse-chuck. Originally published: November 22, 2002.
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